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Board approves money to move playground equipment

Sun Advocate publisher

A little boy swings on a swing at a playground. The emphasis on playground equipment at schools these days is safety.

The Carbon School District has decided to move playground equipment from Petersen Elementary in Sunnyside to the new Bruin Point Elementary that will open this fall at the site of the old East Carbon High School.

Not all the equipment at the school will be moved, just that those pieces that are modern and have the safety features playground equipment needs these days.

"The removal and installation of this equipment was not part of the planned construction of the new elementary building," said Deone Kone, director of maintenance and construction for the district. "The job was bid out but only one company responded and that is who I am recommending we hire to do it."

Playground equipment removal and particularly the installation is a touchy subject in many quarters. A far cry from the old days when schools just put up a heavy duty swing set and threw some sand under it, nowadays, the safety of the equipment and its fall area are paramount in district's and contractors minds.

"This job needs to be done by the right people and this company is the one to handle it," said Kone. "I was glad we found someone willing to do the work."

The bid for the removal and reinstallment was for $28,000 which Kone says is a "real bargain, especially when you consider the cost of new equipment."

Kone said he recently purchased a small slide for one of the other elementary schools and the cost of that single piece of equipment was over $1100.

"Playground equipment for schools is a highly regulated area," he said. "That is why it costs so much."

In another area concerning maintenance of the buildings in the district, Kone proposed to the board that they approve hiring Edwards and Daniels to do the design work for roofing projects in the district this year.

"Actually, they were the only firm that showed an interest when we sent out a statement of interest and it makes sense since they built the buildings and have all the drawings," said Kone.

The roofs that need to be redone are on the buildings at the Wellington and Creekview Elementary campuses'.

"It used to be we could only do roofing during the summer when school was not in session because of all the odors and dangers from the hot tar," said Kone. "Now there is a cold process that allows us to start projects in the early spring and stretch them into the late fall without bothering school or creating a danger to those in the building.

Edwards and Daniels will draw up the plans for the roofing projects based on a fee of 4 percent of the actual construction costs.

"We used to do these kinds of things ourselves, but the state has required us to have an architect for any project that costs over $1 million," Kone said after the board approved the request. "We should have working drawings within two weeks and then we can get the projects out for bid."

The board also approved a key policy for the district so that a better record can be kept of who has keys to what buildings.

"We have been struggling along with various people having keys to buildings and we don't know about it," said Kone referring to personnel who sometimes move from one building to another and yet keep the keys from the first building. "This will help us to keep track of who has what."

Based on the new policy, principals will be receiving a form which will be used to register what keys are with which personnel. When someone quits or transfers, the district then will be able to ask that the keys that the person has registered to them are turned back in.

"It will certainly simplify things in all the buildings and around the district," concluded Kone.

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